Howard Bishop Middle School celebrates receiving certification as community partnership school

The program allows the school to receive funds to provide benefits to parents, teachers and students outside the classroom
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:15 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Six long years.

That’s how long it took for Howard Bishop Middle School to receive their certification from the University of Central Florida as a community partnership school.

“It gives us a lot more services to provide to our students and families,” said Howard Bishop’s principal, Mike Gamble. “Things students need to be successful. Not everybody here comes from a home that has enough resources, things many of us probably take for granted. It allows us to provide these services for students and allows teachers to teach.”

Administrators say the process was grueling, which is why it took so long to reach this point.

They had to prove they met 12 different standards along the way.

“You have to manage services, you have to make sure that you are keeping up with all your documentation,” said the Community Partnership School Director at the school, Latoya Jennings-Lopez. “But the biggest piece is follow up. So you don’t want to only offer services, you also want to make sure that you’re following up to check in and make sure the families and the students are receiving services.

“[It] shows the dedication of the people who helped make this process take place, and it leverages to bring in other opportunities,” said Jennings-Lopez. “That’s what we’re hoping to do, have it come outside the walls of Howard Bishop and bring this to other middle schools. It allows us to be able to service not only our students, but their siblings and the whole family.”

As a community partnership school, one of the services Howard Bishop is able to provide is a wellness center for teachers, complete with blowup chairs that have massagers on them.

The wellness center is also available to students and parents, including providing parents a space to apply for jobs.

In spite of the certification being done through UCF, the funding is provided by community organizations including the University of Florida and Santa Fe College.

Howard Bishop’s principal told me they’re dreaming big with how they want to use the money.

“Big goals down the road are providing more health care for students and dental care,” said Gamble.

Howard Bishop also currently provides free after-school care through the program.

Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.